Catherine Wambui, known as Kate Vobic, is a 29-year-old presenter with Hero Radio which broadcasts from Nakuru. She runs an initiative that visits schools to teach on the value of abstinence. She is also a road safety ambassador.
They say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. However, seeing how our young people are wallowing in hopelessness with many taking to alcohol and substance abuse to escape the harsh realities of life and some engaging in reckless sexual behaviour is worrying.
I decided to not sit on the sidelines and do something to turn this emerging trend. That is how I established the “Usijichanganye” initiative three years ago.
The main aim of this initiative is to pass a message to pupils and students that abstinence costs nothing. On the face of it, the message seems simple but it is hard for some to live by it.
Sex has been glorified as a cool thing and our young people are experimenting with their bodies to discover this for themselves. The consequences are there for all to see as statistics show that our young people are among the leading percentage of people living with sexually transmitted infections.
It is strange to note some students have sugar mummies and daddies and others are bankrolled by wealthy sponsors. This is not a college thing as I have come across such situations among high school students.
It is hard to convince them they are not missing out on anything by letting go of such relationships and concentrating on their studies. Sadly, at the end of the day, such students end up in tears after they are dumped and their ‘sponsor’ moves on to the next available young person.
Passing the message of abstinence across is always a challenge. I have to take entertainment wherever I am holding my campaigns in order to get the attention of the recipients. This is besides hiring disc jockeys, performing artistes, counselors and motivational speakers as the occasion demands. It is cost intensive but the messages do get through and this is a positive return on investment.
What frustrates me at times is to be seen like I am speaking to myself. Abstinence is like a strange doctrine many youths will not embrace. Some will listen with one ear as the message gets out through the other.
Apart from this, I am also engaged in a road awareness campaign after I was selected to be the road safety ambassador for Nakuru County.